JULY 24, 1999, started out as a beautiful sunny day, but not for long. News of an early morning plane crash quickly cast a cloud of darkness across the country. Later in the day, the world changed for the families of 15 passengers and 2 crew members as confirmation came there were no survivors. All 17 on board Air Fiji's PC121 were killed. In the days that followed, nothing more graphically spelt out the horrors of the crash than the images of twisted sheets of metal that hung from the branches of a tattered forest clearing. In the days that followed, it was hard to imagine anything that would distract from the shock of that awful incident.
Thirteen years later, The Fiji Times through a series of articles revisits the day and provides brief sketches of the victims — nine of whom were locals from prominent families.
Living with loss, some of those who lost loved ones talk about how they coped with lingering grief, healing, and new starts.
Next Tuesday : Recomendations made by the official investigation and how the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji Islands has responded.